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Changing a mask's overlay color

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Changing a mask's overlay color

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to change the color of the mask overlay that you see when you're viewing the mask and the image at the same time. I've saved my progress as First tentative edit.psd. I have the boot channel selected. We are viewing the RGB image at the same time. Now as I was telling you, this red overlay is based on the old Rubyliths that many of us used in the precomputer days. The color works well for some images, not so well for others. In our case it's hard to tell what's going on, because the shade of red assigned to the mask, very nearly matches the red of the boot.

Changing a mask's overlay color

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to change the color of the mask overlay that you see when you're viewing the mask and the image at the same time. I've saved my progress as First tentative edit.psd. I have the boot channel selected. We are viewing the RGB image at the same time. Now as I was telling you, this red overlay is based on the old Rubyliths that many of us used in the precomputer days. The color works well for some images, not so well for others. In our case it's hard to tell what's going on, because the shade of red assigned to the mask, very nearly matches the red of the boot.

So here is how you go about changing the color. You go to the Channels panel and you double-click anywhere on the alpha channel, and then you'll see that you have this color swatch. Go ahead and click on it to bring up the Color Picker dialog box. And let's dial in a complementary color, and, by the way, when you're modifying the Hue value, you can find the color complement of any other Hue, just by adding or subtracting, whichever is easier, 180 degrees. So in our case, we changed the Hue value from 0-180. That gives us this bright Cyan.

Click OK, and then you have to decide what level of Opacity you want. Now unfortunately we are not able to preview our changes to the mask overlay, so you are kind of working blind. I'm going to go ahead and take that Opacity value down to 20%, click OK. That's not nearly opaque enough, so I'll go ahead and double-click again, to bring back the Channel Options dialog box, and let's try an Opacity value of 35% let's say, and click OK, and that looks a heck of a lot better. Now if I were to select a region and fill it with the foreground color white, by pressing Alt+Backspace or Option+ Delete on the Mac, then I would fill it with transparency, just as before.

If I instead, I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. If I instead press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac to fill the selection with the background color black, then I'd end up adding to the cyan overlay. All right! I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification as well. Note that this is a channel by channel attribute, so the color overlay actually gets saved along with the file. If I turn off the eyeball in front of boot, and then I turn on the eyeball in front of nameplate, notice that nameplate still has the default ruby overlay, which is actually really great, because it means that if I turn on both channels at the same time, I can tell the two channels apart.

Here's something that's really interesting I think. I don't necessarily ever take advantage of this, but it is there and you do want to be aware of it. You can select two channels at the same time by clicking on one and Shift+Clicking on the other. So I now have both alpha channel selected, and I can go ahead and select a portion of the image, and let's say, I press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill that area with the background color which is black. I add blackness to both of the channels. So you can edit the contents of two channels at the same time in Photoshop, which is utterly and completely remarkable in my opinion, because you can't do that with layers, you can only edit a single layer at a time.

I certainly don't want to do that of course. So I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, just want you to note that that is an option. Then I'll go ahead and click on boot to select it independently. So I don't end up harming the nameplate layer. I'm going to go ahead and turn it off as well. A couple of other things to note. If I press the tilde key to turn off the RGB image, so I'm viewing the mask by itself. Notice the little default color swatch down here at the bottom of the toolbox, the one that you get by pressing the D key. Notice it changes the foreground color to white and the background color to black.

However, if I press the tilde key again, so I'm viewing the color composite image. Then you'll see now the little default color swatch changes the foreground color to black and the background color to white, and that's just something to bear in mind. So if I hit the DekeKey now, I'll get black as my foreground color. I am not sure I'm able to defend Photoshop's reasoning where that's concerned, however, that is the way it is. One more thing to note here. I'm going to double-click on the Channel to once again bring up the Channel Options dialog box. Notice the Color Indicates options here. In addition to Masked Areas, so in other words, the cyan overlay is coding the masked regions of the image.

You could invert that. You could say no, go ahead and cover up The Selected Areas instead, click OK and now you have a different view into your image, which means that the whole equation flips upside down. So in other words, if I select an area and press in this case Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that area with black, meaning cyan overlay, then I'm adding to the selection. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, where I too instead select an area and press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac to fill it with white, that is transparency, then I'm deselecting.

Now between you and me, I've been masking for years ,and as soon as I start trying to invert the equation, I get terribly confused. So I don't work that way. I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. I stick with having the color indicate the Masked Areas, otherwise, I just can't keep track of what I'm doing, but it is an option. Your brain may well work differently than mine. Finally, you can go ahead and convert the layer to a Spot Color. That takes you into a whole different arena. So in other words, it's not an alpha channel anymore. It's now a color bearing channel that will communicate in actual Spot Color with the image.

Obviously, we're not going to do that. So let's stick with Masked Areas, click OK. We'll get back to our familiar, in this case, cyan overlay. In the next exercise, we'll use this overlay in order to modify this mask and make it exactly match the contours of the boot.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29648 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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